Chess in the Library Program Update

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  • Chess in the Library Program Update

    Hey everyone,

    It's been a while since I last posted on Chesstalk. For those of you who have been following the program through our website or my blog, I want to say thank you for all your support. However, for those of you who rely solely on Chesstalk for chess news, I'd like to provide you with some updates of our Chess in the Library program!

    Brief Summary of the Program in 2009
    The Chess in the Library program started in June 2009 and since then, the program has expanded to 5 different locations as well as attracted a total of 22 volunteers for the program. During these 6 months, my team and I have been through the wind and the rain, encountering numerous barriers and difficulties with the program. Looking back, it's hard to imagine that what we've actually accomplished with the program is a reality. Especially the fact that we have a website that people visit quite often! Overall, the 2009 year for the Chess in the Library Organization was quite a success. More importantly, the program was made my dream of promoting chess in Canada come true. I want to thank all the kind individuals and organizations that have donated and sponsored the program in the 2009 year. A list of these donors and sponsors can be found at our website. Without these people, we definitely couldn't have done it. Thank you so much for supporting us!

    New Year Resolution
    Our new year resolution for the program is to build the team larger, perhaps we will form an executive board and expand the program to 15 different locations in total (10 more than what we have now). I personally have lots of faith in my team and I believe that this goal is definitely achievable.

    2010 Changes of the Program
    1. We will try to rate our games with CMA rating as often as possible. Thanks to Larry and the Chess'n Math Association who have agreed to sponsor us 3 months of free rating!! Of course, with the ratings in place, more kids would be interested to play because seeing their ratings go up and down is big motivation for them. This is a huge step in our program and I cannot express how much I appreciate Larry's support toward our program!

    2. We will set up an activity for the first 20 minutes of the program each week. We have currently decided to rotate between basic teaching (thanks to Maurice Smith for the demo boards!!), puzzle competitions and simuls with our volunteers. We have already tested out each one of the 3 at different location and they seem to do well.

    3. New flyers for the program! Well, of course you guys won't be able to see it here but it does look much better that the old one!

    4. We consider purchasing 1-2 clocks for the program at each library. Sometimes when the kids play too slow and we need to end the program, we'll need a clock to speed up the games. I've always hated the idea of counting pieces to see who wins. My teammates and I are currently voting on whether we should purchase them and how many. You all know that our budget is very small because we are a free program that relies on donations and volunteers who give up their free time to keep it running. We do hope to slowly get more and more equipment for the program, especially clocks, since my teammates and I have been talking about it for months now. Thus, we would greatly appreciate it if more members of the chess community in Canada would show their support toward our program. I was really touched at fast people responded to my call of needing demo boards last time. Again, thanks to Maurice Smith who donated 6 demo boards, we are now able to introduce this wonderful game to people who don't even know how to play. Some pictures of us teaching can be found at my blog. :)

    Finally, during the last two week, the program opened at 2 new libraries (included in the 5 that I was talking about earlier since they were planned in 2009)- Northern District and Fairview branches. Each one of them were extremely successful. The program at Northern District attracted many strong players (average of 1900 CFC of those who had rating) and the one at Fairview broke the record of most participants! Guess how many? 50!!! Of course, this couldn't have been possible without the help of many librarians and most importantly, internal teamwork. We all worked hard with promotions, recruiting new volunteers, organizing the program, etc. A shout-out to all my teammates: Great job everyone!! :D

    We hope that you guys will continue to give us support as we work hard to increase chess popularity in Canada. :)


  • #2
    Re: Chess in the Library Program Update

    Hi Yuanling: I have a couple of older clocks that are ok. You can have them if you like. I live in Scarborough and can be at the Scarborough
    Chess Club on a Thursday.

    Wilf Ferner


    • #3
      Re: Chess in the Library Program Update

      Hi Wilf,

      Thank you so much for your generous donation. As long as the clocks work, our program will be more than happy to accept them. My team and I really appreciate your support! :)

      I will not be at the Scarborough Chess Club this week due to exams and I'm not sure which day the Shirov simul will take place. Can I contact you through email? My email is

      Thanks again!!